The mayor, a shingle pit, a racetrack and an opportunity

It’s been known for many years that the Canterbury Car Club (CCC) track in Christchurch, the Euromarque Motorsport Park, has underneath the track a valuable aggregate resource.  There has been a lot of speculation and discussion about the site at Ruapuna, north-west of the airport, being excavated and the track re-laid and now a permit has been granted to do so.

Bring in the current mayor of Christchurch, Phil Mauger, a self-confessed petrol head who has competed at the track for many years who wants this to not only go ahead but to present a bigger, better redesigned raceway to attract bigger and better events, even the Aussie Supercars.

Mauger’s private company, Mauger’s Mining, was granted a mining permit for the site in April 2023 for the extraction of approximately 2 million cubic metres worth a reported 40 million dollars.

His company applied for the permit in April 2021 when Mauger was a company director and before he became mayor of Christchurch.

While he has stepped back from the business and declared a personal interest, Major is now promoting the idea as a huge opportunity for both the CCC and the city to not only improve it’s motor racing facilities but also to attract key events.

A concept track design was made in 2019 (main picture) which would see some significant changes in the circuit including expanding the length another 500m to 3.8km in total, lowering it by up to 8 metres which could lessen noise and ease complaints by an ever-increasing number of residential units nearby.

A meeting with the CCC is planned for November to further discuss the opportunities.  It is reported that to go ahead it will require the club’s endorsement to proceed to the next step.

“Ruapuna (CCC) could turn around and say. ‘get stuffed, don’t wanna do it,’ and that’s fine,” said Major. 

It’s envisaged that the venture could be completed in approximately two-years.  The land is currently owned by the Christchurch City Council with a long-term lease to the Canterbury Car Club.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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